Help needed with Porter Cable dovetail jig.

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Forum topic by Cratemaker posted 07-07-2014 05:15 PM 827 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Cratemaker's profile


2 posts in 1384 days

07-07-2014 05:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question router pine

Hello all,

Since this is my first post I will introduce myself. My name is Maxwell, I’m 35, and the owner of a small but growing business reproducing WWII Military items, focusing primarily on wood products (crates, desks, tables etc…) I am a Machinist/Welder by trade but I have fallen in love with woodwork!

SO here’s my question: I have a 4210 Porter-Cable 12’’ Dovetail Jig ( ). It works great for the smaller crates we build, but I have a rather large project we are attempting for the first time. In a nutshell, its 1” thick pine material, 7/8” wide dovetail. I can fit this in my fixture and hold it, but I do not have the proper jig to achieve the spacing I need. So should I …..

A) attempt to contact Porter Cable or someone who makes custom jigs and have a jig made?


B) buy an entirely different tool with adjustable spacing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Like I said, I’m a machinist by trade, so everyday is a new lesson in the wood shop!


3 replies so far

View Redoak49's profile


3195 posts in 1953 days

#1 posted 07-07-2014 05:23 PM

One option, which is expensive, is to go with a Leigh D4R Pro jig which will allow variable spacing and provides a number of different sizes of dovetails. It is expensive but also has the most flexibility of any jig.

I am not familiar with the Porter Cable Omni Jig but it may also do what you need. It is also not cheap.

You did not mention if you were doing through dovetails or half blind ones.

Also, expect with either of these jigs, there will be a learning curve and it may take a little while to get the results that you need.

Of course, you could always try cutting them by hand. It is not what I would do but I am certain that some will mention it.

View Cratemaker's profile


2 posts in 1384 days

#2 posted 07-07-2014 05:26 PM

Redoak49 – I will be cutting through dovetails, and we are currently doing production runs of 10-20 units at a time, so hand cutting would not really be an option.

View ChefHDAN's profile


1057 posts in 2814 days

#3 posted 07-07-2014 06:35 PM

production runs of 10-20 units at a time,

I’d say it’s time to invest in the bigger tool, time is money, and you should be able to sell your 12” for at least half of new.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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